According to the newest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 58 per cent in July-September compared to the same period of 2020.
However, numbers remained 64 per cent below 2019 levels.
Europe recorded the best relative performance in the third quarter, with international arrivals 53 per cent down on the same three-month period of 2019.
In August and September arrivals were down 63 per cent compared to 2019, the best monthly results since the start of the pandemic.
UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “Data for the third quarter of 2021 is encouraging.
“However, arrivals are still 76 per cent below pre-pandemic levels and results across the different global regions remain uneven.”
In light of the rising cases and the emergence of new variants, he added that “we cannot let our guard down and need to continue our efforts to ensure equal access to vaccinations, coordinate travel procedures, make use of digital vaccination certificates to facilitate mobility and continue to support the sector”.
The uplift in demand was driven by increased traveller confidence amid rapid progress on vaccinations and the easing of entry restrictions in many destinations.
In Europe, the EU Digital Covid Certificate has helped facilitate free movement within the European Union, releasing large-pent up demand after many months of restricted travel.
Arrivals were only eight per cent below the same period of 2020 yet still 69 per cent below 2019.
The Americas recorded the strongest inbound results in January-September, with arrivals up one per cent compared to 2020 but still 65 per cent below 2019 levels.
The Caribbean recorded the strongest results by subregion with arrivals up 55 per cent compared to the same period in 2020, though still 38 per cent below 2019.